Sexual problems in women: Types, causes and foods that help

Are you feeling difficult or not willing to get in the mood for intimacy? Did you struggle to get aroused during sexual activity? Do you experience pain instead of pleasure? Did you feel unsatisfied? If yes, don’t worry. You are not alone. Almost 40% of women around the world are reported to have sexual problems. Keep reading to understand the types and causes of sexual problems in women and also foods that help.

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What are Sexual problems?

Sexual problems can be often called as “sexual dysfunctions” which can be experienced by both men and women. It relates to any issue that impairs with pleasure and satisfaction during sexual activity. Nearly all women with sexual problems may exhibit different signs specific to particular issue. Some of the common signs are facing pain and struggle to get aroused which can ultimately lead to loss of desire or interest towards intimacy.

Also check, Causes of libido loss in women

Types of sexual problems in women

Sexual dysfunction is a complex issue. Physical, mental and interpersonal factors are the common influencers of sexual problems. The following are the most prevalent sexual problems in women:

1. Libido and arousal related problems

Women’s degree of libido and arousal can be influenced by a variety of factors. It is common that libido can change throughout the stages of life. But if someone’s libido or arousal lowers suddenly, that could be a symptom of sexual problem.

Female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD)

Low libido and less arousal is common in FSAD. When a women experience dramatic decline in the desire as well as arousal for approximately 6 months, it could be the sign of sexual arousal disorder. This condition can also be associated with other disorders like experiencing pain and unwilling to engage in sexual activity.

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Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD)

PGAD is a rare disorder in women where they experience excessive involuntary arousal. This condition can be characterised by higher vaginal discharge and elevated blood circulation to the genital organs. There is no known reason for this excessive arousal and it frequently persists even after an orgasm. It may make them feel embarrassed and frustrated instead of making them feel satisfied. This is considered a psychological issue and behavioural therapies and antidepressants are used to treat it.

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2. Orgasmic disorder

Approximately, 4% of women in their perimenopausal stage are experiencing orgasm related issues. This condition can be referred to as anorgasmia which can be often characterised by delayed or lack of orgasms in women. In addition to hormonal imbalances, other factors like anxiety, depression, chronic illness, medications can prevent the onset of orgasm in women.

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3.Pain during sexual activity

A study showed that 30% of women experience pain during sexual activity. This pain can be often known as dyspareunia. This may result from a wide range of medical issues. Here are some issues that causes pain:


The endometrial tissues cover the inner lining of the uterus of women. Endometriosis is a condition when a tissue that resembles endometrial tissue begins to develop outside the uterus. Although the tissue is not malignant, it can cause clumps and scars. The female reproductive organ may transform as a result of this tissue fusion and impair the pelvic muscles. This inturn causes pain during sexual activity. Studies predict that 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 are dealing with endometriosis. 

Also check, How age affects libido in women?


Vaginismus is an issue that makes muscle in the pelvic area and vagina tighten uncontrollably. This can make romance uncomfortable or painful. Injuries in pelvic muscles can be the cause. But it frequently has a connection with mental and emotional issues, such as sexual anxiety or embarrassment or past trauma.


The infections in vagina can be referred to as “vaginitis” which includes a variety of diseases that inflame or irritate the vagina.These infections may be brought on by bacterial or yeast infections, topical creams or aerosol sprays etc. Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, trichomoniasis as well as viral (herpes) infections can also be a reason. This infection leads to pain.

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Abnormalities in pelvic muscles

This occurs when the pelvic muscles become weakened, allowing the bladder and uterus to descend into the vagina. As a result the muscle can become tight and make it painful. This condition can occur due to variety of factors including, accidents, surgery, or during maternity and after delivery periods

Vaginal dryness

During menopause, the body’s ability to produce estrogen and progesterone decreases. There is an increase in susceptibility to male hormones like DHT concurrently with a drop in female hormone synthesis. Due to less production of estrogen, the vaginal mucosa becomes dry. As a result, a woman may experience pain and difficulty during sexual activity.

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Causes of sexual problems in women

1.Blood circulation issues

Various studies suggest that sexual problems in women can be due to vascular diseases. Arousal during sexual activity requires heightened blood flow to the vagina, clitoris and labia. These conditions may restrict blood supply to these areas of the female reproductive system leading to arousal disorder.

Also check, Foods to manage hormonal imbalance

2.Mental and emotional issues

Long-term stress might disrupt your body’s hormonal balance and cause libido loss. Stress can divert and strip away your sexual thoughts and desire by lowering the libido. Depression makes it more difficult to experience sexual desire and also causes lack of sleep. Insufficient sleep affects hormone levels, weight and anxiety related issues. The cortisol level rises when you don’t get enough sleep which can directly impact the desire of women.

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3.Chronic illness and Medications

Some chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, joint pain elevated cholesterol level, cardiovascular and respiratory illness might interfere with sexual problems in women. Occasionally, several drugs used to treat conditions like hypertension, epilepsy, anxiety and depression might lower the libido in women. Sometimes, contraceptive pills can also decrease the desire of women.

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4.Relationship issues

Couples are less likely to have desire to be romantic when they are arguing or feeling distanced from one another. Bad feelings like distrust, rage, and miscommunication can lower the libido. Relationship counselling might help to talk about the problems between the couples thereby improving their bond and desire.

Also check, How to overcome sexual anxiety?

Foods that help to manage sexual problems in women

There is a connection between food and the desire for intimacy. Foods with aphrodisiac encourage women’s desire for closeness. Foods with aphrodisiac include:


Milk and a sprinkle of nutmeg were always a traditional remedy to increase sexual drive. This spice is also helps to soothe the nervous system and enhance blood flow to the sexual organs by Ayurveda. Because of this, it has been referred to as “women’s viagra.”


Due to its potent influence on sexual desire, ashwagandha, or the “love drug,” has long been utilised as a natural sexual stimulant. According to research, both men and women who take Ashwagandha report feeling more lubricated, satisfied, and virilized.


Ancient Greeks and Romans, who also called aniseed as anise, thought that suckling on the seeds of anise may boost love. The female hormone boosting substances found in aniseed, known as estrogenic substances, have effects analogous to those of testosterone.


The herb Nagarmotha (Cyperus roundus), Mustak or Nutgrass has multiple therapeutic benefits in Ayurveda. Estrogen, often known as the female sex hormone, is crucial for female sexual and reproductive development. Nagarmotha often aids women to enhance estrogen and reduces mood swings, tension, and indirectly increases desire for intimacy.

5. NUTS:

Nuts like pistachios, hazelnuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews and Peanuts are excellent for increasing desire in females. They contain the amino acid L-arginine. It increase blood flow to the sex organs and nitric oxide levels, so naturally enhancing the body’s desire for sex.


Seeds are wonderful libido boosters for females. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are abundant in pumpkin seeds, melon seeds and sunflower seeds serve as a precursor to prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds vital to sexual health. A mere quarter-cup serving could be enough to ignite the flames. Seeds are rich in zinc and it can help with sexuality.


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Foods with aphrodisiac

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